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1. Research Objectives
Nanotechnology is the understanding and control of matter at dimensions between approximately 1 and 100 nanometers, where unique phenomena enable novel applications. Encompassing nanoscale science, engineering, and technology, nanotechnology involves imaging, measuring, modeling, and manipulating matter at this length scale. The purpose of this trans-NIH Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to stimulate Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant applications that employ nanotechnology to enable the development of diagnostics and interventions for treating diseases.
Advancements in medicine and healthcare are being driven by new developments at the interface of materials technologies and new insights derived from studies of biological processes. Nanotechnology – the ability to engineer systems with defined structure and function on the nanoscale – is in the process of driving a new wave of medical innovation. This FOA is designed to bring about fundamental changes to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of an array of diseases and traumatic injuries. To that end, the NIH has identified a wide range of research topics that focus on the engineering of nanoscale structures, processes, and systems as well as other technological innovations (data generation, research methods, etc.) to address biomedical challenges. This list is not exhaustive, nor, are the topics mutually exclusive. Applicants are also encouraged to consider additional research topic areas of nanotechnology listed under each Institute and Center in the NIH SBIR/STTR Omnibus Solicitation of the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Food and Drug Administration (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/sbir.htm).
Nanotechnology Research Topics
(1) Fundamental Nanoscale Phenomena and Processes - Discovery and development of fundamental knowledge pertaining to new phenomena in the physical, biological, and engineering sciences that occur at the nanoscale. Elucidation of scientific and engineering principles related to nanoscale structures, processes, and mechanisms. Examples include but are not limited to:
(2) Nanomaterials - Research aimed at the discovery of novel nanoscale and nanostructured materials and at a comprehensive understanding of the properties of nanomaterials (ranging across length scales, and including interface interactions). R&D leading to the ability to design and synthesize, in a controlled manner, nanostructured materials with targeted proprties. Examples include but are not limited to:
(3) Nanoscale Devices and Systems - R&D that applies the principles of nanoscale science and engineering to create novel, or to improve existing, devices and systems. Includes the incorporation of nanoscale or nanostructured materials to achieve improved performance or new functionality. The enabling science and technology must be at the nanoscale, but the systems and devices themselves are not restricted to that size. Examples include but are not limited to:
(4) Instrumentation Research for Nanotechnology - R&D pertaining to the tools needed to advance nanotechnology research and commercialization, including next-generation instrumentation for characterization, measurement, synthesis, and design of materials, structures, devices and systems. Research areas include:
(5) Nanomanufacturing - R&D aimed at enabling scaled-up, reliable, and cost-effective manufacturing of nanoscale materials, structures, devices, and systems. Includes R&D and integration of ultra-miniaturized top-down processes and increasingly complex bottom-up or self-assembly processes.
(6) Environment, Health and Safety - Research primarily directed at understanding the environmental, health, and safety impacts of nanotechnology development and corresponding risk assessment, risk management, and methods of risk mitigation.
Applicants are encouraged to form strong partnerships between small businesses and other entities to provide the necessary expertise and resources needed. In this collaboration, partners to the small businesses may play an important role in these projects and may receive appropriate support for their efforts. It is envisioned that this initiative will bring together multidisciplinary groups of scientists with expertise in areas such as engineering, chemistry, physics, materials science and biology in addition to seeking commercial, academic, and other sectors.
See Section VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.